SpaceX launches record-setting satellite with a block 5 Falcon 9

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket races skyward in March after its launch from Cape Canaveral Fla

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket races skyward in March after its launch from Cape Canaveral Fla. Courtesy of Space X

The extra power available because of Block 9 full thrust version of the rocket was hugely useful in lifting Telstar-19 with its 7076 kgs of launch weight.

Over the course of eight and a half minutes, the two-stage rocket sent the satellite on the first leg of its journey to a geostationary transfer orbit. Following the separation, the Falcon 9 launch vehicle was successfully landed on the "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship, an autonomous vessel to allow for recovery of rocket assets, which is stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

Webcam video showed the rocket's descent to the deck, and after a break in the video stream, the booster could be seen standing tall.

SpaceX's rocket landings are back and better than ever.

This year, the Elon Musk-founded company launched its maiden voyage of the huge Falcon Heavy rocket, which is effectively three Falcon 9 boosters strapped together. Telstar 19V, which was built by California-based company SSL, will provide broadband service to customers throughout the Americas and Atlantic Ocean region, according to a Telesat fact sheet. In-orbit testing will now commence before services kick-off in the summer, with a 15-year design life. The satellite will be owned and operated by Canadian satellite communications company Telesat.

The block 5 debuted in June, along with an upgraded version of the rocket's second stage.

SpaceX's next mission is a Falcon 9 with 10 Iridium Next satellites scheduled for launch July 25 from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The spotlight returns to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 2, when yet another Falcon 9 is due to launch the Merah Putih satellite for Telkom Indonesia. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said that Block 5 first stages are created to fly at least 10 times with just inspections between landing and liftoff, and 100 times or more with some refurbishment involved.

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